Prior to March 2011, I was homeless due to issues living at home with my family. That March I was arrested, and spent 3 months in county jail, which lead to spending 6 months in the Genesis House Rehabilitation program. After my 6 months there, I was still unable to afford or gain safe living environments. I was still trying to follow the 18-month Drug Court Treatment plan which was difficult because it required random visits and Monday morning “Check-Ins.”
Men In Transition offered me a safe place to build a foundation to climb out from the gutter lifestyle that I had been living in. Thanks to the hospitality of Community Homeless Solutions, I was able to get a roof over my head and a nice place to call my own where I can now eat, sleep and relax. I was finally able to find and maintain employment, and have held steady gainful income since January 2013. I have also used the opportunity I was given by Community Homeless Solutions to work on turning my life around by becoming a full-time student. I will be graduating from Monterey Peninsula College soon.
Finding employment was quite a process. Not having my own car made it difficult as well. My license was taken away in 2008. It was reinstated in 2010, yet that was the last time I had a car. Everything had to be done on foot or by bus. That was the most difficult. Eventually, I got a bike and used it and the bus for eight months. Thankfully, I got a job which required me to work 5-11 am. That meant either walking, biking or using the bus when it was pitch black. It also meant that once a week I had to work the graveyard shift. Additionally, after I got off work I attended classes at Monterey Peninsula College. I had to go through all of this to gain my “footing in society.” Finally, I was able to save enough money to buy my own car. Having vehicle transportation made a huge difference and opened up other opportunities. I now have a job delivering furniture and enjoy the freedom that comes with having earned my own way to be able to own a car.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s been a slow climb out of my previous mindset and lifestyle. At times, it’s been frustrating. I usually would compare myself to others in my support group. Others seemed to move along so much faster than myself. My journey required the necessary time so that my situation and life could be reinvented. When others believe in you and express their faith in you…it has a tremendous, lasting effect on you. It really goes a long, long way. Additionally, having a support group helps me to feel a sense of accomplishment. Hearing other’s stories and even about their small steps forward rubs off you and motivates us all to hang on for the ride. It also gives us hope. Oh, how we need to hold on to hope.
I am excited to complete the program and move on to bigger and better things with my life. It’s pretty miraculous how my lifestyle has changed compared to my past. It is like night and day. The understanding from those at Community Homeless Solutions and their support and push towards the right direction has helped me to recognize my potential. I am forever thankful.